(If you make it to the end you get some holiday home tour pics.)

Growing up in our house, the holidays were a pretty big thing. My mom is a teacher so when Fred & I were on winter break, she was home with us, too. Back in my day (😁) we didn’t decorate for Christmas before Turkey Day. Honestly, I don’t know how my mom fit all our Christmas fun into one month.

One evening in December we’d crawl into Dad’s truck and he’d take us to Fox’s Nursery to pick out a Christmas tree. Of course, once the tree was home you had to let it sit outside and “relax” the branches. A G O N Y for a child who wants to decorate it right. now. After a day or two Mom and Dad would wrestle the beast of a tree (always 7ft or taller) into the house and up to the living room. #yaysplitlevelhouses Then we’d decorate while sipping on eggnog.

For as long as I can remember, Mom has always made cutout cookies. She’d make the dough, refrigerate it (giving Fred and me about 24 to 48 hours to snack on it in the fridge when she wasn’t looking), and then we’d roll it out and punch out candy canes and trees and Santa sleighs. She’d get about an hour of decorating out of us before we got bored, swiped the 4 cookies we’d made, and disappeared to play while she finished up. To this day her cookies always look 5xs better than mine. I did not get the decorating genes.

Christmas Eve is my favorite, though. We’d always have a new outfit for the evening church service. We attended church with my grandparents and uncles and aunts so our pew was packed. At the end of a soft and cozy service, the lights would dim and we’d light our once-a-year personal candles and sing Silent Night. As an adult, my emotions sneak up on me and I cry during this part of the service. After church we’d shiver all the way back to the car and head to my grandparents’ house for sandwiches and punch and shrimp cocktail. My dad’s and uncle’s friends and their families used to come over, too. Then it was home to set out milk, cookies, and carrots, and off to bed.

When I was young & my grandparents lived in Chicago they’d travel to us on Christmas. (Some years we went there, but my memory is fuzzy on those years. They’ve since moved here.) My aunt and uncle from St. Louis would also come stay with us. That meant Audrey got displaced and tossed into Fred’s room since he had bunk beds. (I didn’t mind.) On December 25th around 4:30 or 5 am, Fred and I would creep to the top of the stairs and look down on the tree to see what Santa brought. (We were not allowed to go downstairs without the rest of the family.) We’d slip back to Fred’s room and lay in our bunks discussing what we saw. Mom’s rule was “sleep until (at least) 6am” so obviously at 5:55 were jumping on their bed and shoving their bathrobes in their faces. When we finally got them to the top of the stairs (6:08 am UGHHH) the morning was officially on and Christmas had begun!

The holiday has changed significantly, but these are my favorite memories from my childhood. Toss in shoveling the looong driveway we had and sledding on my grandparents’ big hill and Rascal bringing the Christmas tree down multiple times throughout the years. One year, the day after Christmas, we had to say goodbye to our family dog Bruno. Another year, also the day after Christmas, I totaled my car and spent the evening at the hospital. Not all my memories are happy, but the good outweigh the bad and my parents always figured out ways to keep the season cheery and festive.

For whatever reason, I just wanted to remember and share some of my favorite traditions of the season. And now, if you’re still here, enjoy some pics from the new house!

Why is this picture so terrible & blurry? I have no clue.

This is my “library” area, plus some dogs stuff and minus quite a few books (that are still packed up). We’re still needing to hang artwork and photos on the wall, too.

Happy Holidays, my friends! Enjoy the memories being made!

Linking up with Alexandra and Shea today!!

26 thoughts on “A Very Christmasy Blog Post

    1. Thanks, Bev!

      Hahaha. My mom never slept in when I was a kid, even through the summer. And my dad would wake up at 2 or 3am to go driving for his job, so really 6am was sleeping in for them 😉


  1. So many similarities to how I spent Christmas growing up. We had to wait for my grandmom to arrive Christmas morning – she lived up the street – and until the coffee was brewed! Same cookie making eating the dough/crapping out after an hour experience too!

    Except we always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. I was in charge of it after a certain age and I hated it. I have not decorated a tree in YEARS LOL. I still hate it.


    1. Hahahaha. I’d forgotten how tailored to us kids the holidays always were 🙂 I guess the adults deserved some ground rules like wake time restrictions and coffee requirements.
      I don’t mind decorating the tree, but K hates it. I have a rule where if the ornament says your name, you hang it. K ends up hanging like 5 ornaments every year and bitches the entire 45 seconds it takes him. Lol


  2. I just adore all your precious family memories.
    The candlelight service is always my favtoo…. & even more special is that is where Ricky proposed. Ahhh
    I love the time of waiting on Christmas morning for the ok to run downstairs. The best


  3. So many great memories and family traditions. They mean so much and thank you for sharing them with us. To me, that’s a big part of blogging – a place to write and keep those memories alive. We always went to the candlelight Christmas Eve service too and I can still remember my Dad nervously telling me to be careful and not set my hair on fire. To be fair, I’m 42 and he still tells me to be careful and not set my hair on fire! Love the pics of your home. It looks fantastic and almost makes me feel guilty for not decorating my home!I wish you and K and the fur babies a very Merry Christmas! I hope Santa treats you well!


    1. Don’t feel guilty for not decorating!! My house might be decorated but it is a messsss. Ha! You can see some dog toys all over the floor in the tree pic and there’s actually a typewriter on the floor behind the stockings. WHO KEEPS A TYPEWRITER ON THE FLOOR?! Lol!
      I feel like I’m usually the one warning my dad not to catch fire 😉 Lol!
      Merry Christmas!!


    1. Whew, that’d be a rough Christmas! Glad the other ones have been better!
      I was always glad to have Christmas in Ohio (or Chicago occasionally) because it meant we were likely in for some snow on our school break 😀


  4. Oh I love all these festive memories! When I was growing up Christmas morning with my brother was EXACTLY the same! Both of us awake way before the designated get up time and snuggled in my brother’s room discussing what presents we hoped to get.
    Love your Christmas decorations, especially the stockings – So cute!


    1. I was always so glad to have a brother to share the holidays with! Swede and Abel will have the same experience as us, I’m sure!!
      Thank you! I’m not in love with K’s and my snowman ones, but I love the dogs’ stockings 🙂


    1. Things really do change! My mom ended up decorating her tree without me this year and I flipped out. Ha. My dad said that when she was doing it he was like, “Ummm, do you think that’s a good idea without Aud here?” Ha.
      Fortunately she did include me in the cookie decorating.


  5. I LOVED reading about your Christmas memories!! My mom was a teacher too so she was home with us on break and she always planned such fun things. If I were her I would have wanted to just sleep and relax on my break but she made it so special! My dad always made us wait while the tree branches “relaxed” too and it was such torture!! LOL!! Your new house looks BEAUTIFUL all decorated for Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful first holiday there!


    1. I always wondered if my dad made up the whole relaxing tree branches thing because he was just Christmas-ed out for the evening. Ha. Good to know other parents had that in place, too 😀 Now I let the tree sit for a day or two, too. Although I don’t know if it actually does anything. Ha.
      Thank you so much!! Merry Christmas!


  6. Aww, I love all your memories and the mini house tour. Your library area is awesome. I can’t wait to see more home pics in the future.
    I got in a car accident a few years ago ON Christmas. A teen crashed into me. Ugh. No injuries, thankfully.
    Merry, merry Christmas. ❤


    1. That would be a terrible day to get into an accident! I’m glad there were no injuries!!
      Thank you!! Once I get my kitchen a tiny bit cleaner I’ll post some pictures of it, too 😉
      Merry Christmas, Steph!!


  7. I love seeing all the books you’ve read! I’ve wanted to read The Art of Racing in the Rain but I knew it would destroy me too so I haven’t picked it up!


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